VANCOUVER, Wash. - A Vancouver police officer who'd been shot seven times still managed to give fellow officers a brief description of the shooting as he was rushed to the hospital.
Officer Dustin Goudschaal, 32, was identified as the motorcycle officer shot Monday around 11:30 a.m. after he pulled over a black Dodge truck near Northeast 162nd Avenue and 34th Street. A dispatcher told Goudschaal that the truck's license plates belonged to a stolen vehicle.
When Goudschaal didn't respond to a dispatcher, a nearby resident replied on the radio that the officer had been shot, according to court records.
As of Tuesday evening, Goudschaal's condition had improved from critical to satisfactory. Goudschaal's ballistic vest apparently saved his life.
On the way to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Monday, Officer Goudschaal told Vancouver Officer Jeffery Starks that he had, "stopped the black truck and was making his first approach to the truck when the driver leaned out of the driver door window and shot him," according to newly released court documents. "Officer Goudschaal said the truck had two vehicle license plates on it, and had a 55 gallon drum in the bed of the truck."
Goudschaal also identified two people in the truck, a driver and a passenger.
After a manhunt that lasted nearly three hours, police arrested James Sapp, 47, a Vancouver resident with apparent white supremacist beliefs and a violent criminal history. They accused him of pulling the trigger. He appeared in court Tuesday facing multiple felony charges, including attempted murder in the first degree. His bail was set at $10 million.
Goudschaal's description of Sapp to Officer Starks was consistent with Sapp's appearance, according to the documents.
In the vehicle with Sapp was Timothy Plantenberg, according to investigators. Plantenberg was detained and interviewed by detectives. According to court documents, he told police Sapp was driving when the officer approached and used a "gun from between his legs" to shoot him.
Police released Plantenberg after they questioned him.
Officer Goudschaal has been with the Vancouver Police Department since 2008 and has served as a motorcycle cop since September 2013.
Vancouver Police Lt. Kathy McNicholas came to the Clark County Courthouse Tuesday, where Sapp was appearing, to support Goudschaal and stand as a unified front.
"Anytime there is a major assault and an officer is hurt, we like to have police presence throughout the courtroom, throughout the stages of the appearance and the trial or anything that comes up for law enforcement," McNicholas said. "The most important thing is that we all come together and are all here for officer Goudschaal and his family."
Another family was hurting too: the University of Arizona Police Department, where Goudschaal previously worked.
"It took my breath away - like it did a lot of people who work here - that one of our guys, one of our close friends got kind of ambushed like that," said Sgt. Filbert Barrera, spokesman for the University of Arizona Police Department.
Barrera said Goudschaal went to school at the University of Arizona while simultaneously working at the department. He began working as a Community Service Officer (CSO), a civilian position, where he excelled and was honored as the CSO student of the year in 2003.
"He was basically in charge of the other CSO's as far as scheduling and activities and training," Barrera said. "He was a really good employee back then. I remember he was one of the highly motivated students."
The department hired Goudschaal as a full-fledged officer June 7, 2004.
As a member of the motorcycle squad, Barrera described Goudschaal as a kind person and a good companion.
"There's a lot of really good guys and gals in law enforcement but Dustin, man, he's just one of these guys who you just loved to be around," Barrera said. "I just hope he knows that there are a lot of people down here at the University of Arizona Police Department and in Tucson that are really thinking about him. We're just really glad that he's OK; we want him to get better."
Officer Goudschaal received the Meritorious Service Award in recognition of his actions on Dec. 12, 2011 "when he responded to a suicidal subject armed with a handgun pointed to his chest," Vancouver Police Department spokesman Kim Kapp wrote in an email to KATU. "His competent professional performance in a stressful situation and his actions that day made a difference in one man's life.